UGA Performing Arts Center Celebrates Black Excellence in 25th Anniversary Season | Arts & Culture


The University of Georgia’s Performing Arts Center will celebrate black excellence by featuring performances by prominent African-American musicians throughout its 25th anniversary season.

Jeffrey Martin, director of the UGA Performing Arts Center, said the selection of black artists and musicians is in part a return to Jessye Norman’s performance in 1996, naming the new installation at the centre’s opening gala. Norman was a legendary soprano and a native of black Georgia.

“I just wanted to take this opportunity to showcase the diversity of our programming and welcome people of all types to our performances,” said Martin.

The overall theme of the Performing Arts Center this season is “come together and celebrate,” intended to bring audiences and artists together after a long separation due to the pandemic, according to Martin.

“There are some very special things that happen when we sit together in a concert hall and experience music, dance or theater together,” Martin said. “I want us to be able to come together and have that experience again. “

Artists of various genres will be presented. On November 16, Charleston’s band Ranky Tanky will perform “Southern Journey: An Afro-Americana Celebration!” with special guest Dom Flemons twice, at 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Flemons, a folk artist known as the “American Singer” for his mastery of early American popular music, said he was happy to have the opportunity to represent African-American folk music in his performance. Flemons said he considered folk music “important pieces of the African diaspora”.

Flemons said he believes it is important to place the music he performs in its historical context and that he appreciates the narrative aspect of his performances.

“We’ve had such an outcry for more representation of African American history, and being able to present these stories allows people to hear the stories and it enriches their lives,” Flemons said.

The center will also present classical music performances by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Pacifica Quartet, as well as jazz and a cappella performances from other groups in the winter and spring.

The centre’s 25th Anniversary Gala, on April 24, 2022, will feature a Broadway performance by Tony award-winning film, television star and artist Audra McDonald, singing a mix of Broadway songs, selections from the Great American songbook and other pieces.

Tickets for upcoming Performing Arts Center programming can be purchased on the centre’s website, and discounted tickets are available for UGA students.


William E. Bennett

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